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Life

A year on, Thai cave rescue sparks tourism boom in sleepy province

1 million visitors drawn by cavern where boys soccer team was trapped

Souvenir shops line the area around the cave in Thailand where a boys soccer team was trapped for 18 days last year. The T-shirts depict a diver who died in the resuce. (Photo by Marimi Kishimoto)

CHIANG RAI PROVINCE, Thailand -- The dramatic rescue of a boys soccer team from a cave in Thailand last year has turned an inconspicuous enclave of pineapple fields into a tourist hot spot, drawing well over 1 million visitors since the 18-day ordeal captured headlines worldwide.

Souvenir shops have sprouted in the cave area of Chiang Rai, the country's northernmost province near the border with Myanmar, selling T-shirts depicting Tham Luang cave and the rescuers.

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